Kukla's Korner Hockey
A great interview this morning with Darren McCarty, now playing with the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Our thanks to Hockey This Morning on NHL Home Ice XM 204 for the providing the audio for KK readers.
from John Buccigross of ESPN,
Hey, NFL fans, what’s up? Great Super Bowl, huh? Tough for Patriots fans and players. That is a loss that will hurt forever. There are high school games that still hurt when I think about them. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw the same two teams in the Super Bowl next season, but that’s a topic for John Clayton.
Now that football season is over, we hope you turn some of your focus to the NHL.
We’ve been operating for four months now and have five more to go until we award the greatest trophy in team sports. We hockey fans chuckle at how other sports try to prop their trophies up as a holy grail like the NFL has attempted to do, but it just doesn’t stack up to the Stanley Cup.
Bill McCreary is one of the better refs in the NHL and things like this do happen at times, but not very often.
from the Tennessean,
Bettman said he believes the new local ownership group can help the Predators get out of the red, even if the cap rises next season.
“I’m hoping and expecting, and I’m optimistic, that increased attendance, increased sponsorship involvement, increased business—that can be done with the enthusiastic support of the community—will also be a factor in bridging that gap,” Bettman said.
The spending money will have to come in part from increased fan and corporate support, since Nashville doesn’t get the big radio and television contracts some other NHL markets enjoy….
“If you think back to five years ago, there were teams with $20 million payrolls and $80 million payrolls,” Bettman said. “We believe the range we have is one that enables all teams to be competitive.
“If you look at the playoff races, if you look at our standings, I don’t think there’s a league with this kind of competitive balance. Every game throughout the season matters.”
On the plus side for small-market teams, the NHL’s revenue-sharing money increases as the league’s overall revenues rise.
from Craig Simpson at CBC,
Football’s Holy Grail is a silver football sitting on an elongated pedestal. That’s it. Nothing else. At 23 inches tall, it is often dwarfed by the behemoths of men who hold it in one hand like a stick over their heads in victory.
Somehow, this slight of a symbol doesn’t fit all the grandiose of the game it represents. The impact of the trophy pales in comparison to the effort it takes to achieve the accomplishment.
The Stanley Cup on the other hand, is larger than life, is a worshiped institution and in my opinion, is the greatest trophy in all of sports.
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
Pardon me if this comes off as anti-Swede or even a mangling of the French Canadian language, but bringing Peter Forsberg back to the NHL at this point of the season is a monumental faux pas.
The idea that any time prior to the NHL trading deadline of February 26 (the day NHL rosters are frozen) any team can sign him and inject him into their lineup is not just a bastardization of all that should be logical and decent in regards to NHL roster rules, but it also makes a mockery of the idea of team building and the value of playing a full NHL season.
From Terry Frei in the Denver Post, some quotes from Gary Bettman’s press conference in Denver yesterday:
On his impressions of the season so far: “The competitive balance is incredible. The races are exciting. The notion that every game counts and matters and is likely to have an implication in terms of who does and doesn’t make the playoffs and the seeding, I think is great for the fans.”
More on the schedule: “Our best attended games are our divisional games. Our next best-attended games as a general rule are our conference games. And while the numbers aren’t dramatically different, the least of the three are the interconference games.”
more comments from Bettman (bottom half of the post)
A few topics discussed at my NHL.com blog today.
I also ask who is the NHL MVP at this point of the season. You can respond at either location and make sure to include why you think your suggestion is deserving of the MVP award.
Calgary-based Dr. Arun Lakra has created a system to consider the questions: Who is scoring the clutch goals? And who is padding their stats with soft points?
We have created The Clutch Factor, a method by which the value of goals and assists may be objectively calculated and standardized.
By assessing the “Clutch Elements” which are at play on every goal, ranging from goal differential to manpower situation to opposition strength, and by analyzing every goal scored in the NHL 2007-08 season through the recent All-Star break, we have figured out who is, in fact, scoring clutch goals. And who is padding their stats with soft points.
more on who’s “clutch” this year in the NHL.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org